Having been self-employed since 1996, and shooting professionally since 1994, I have learned many lessons that I’d like to pass on to those who might benefit from experiences I’ve had, often not pleasant, but quite helpful. Some times, I learn by a mistake. Sometimes I’ve learned by seeing someone else make mistakes, and I think to myself… “Ok….. lets not ever do that!”…
I was considering writing books under topics of:
Wedding Planning (from a Photographer’s Perspective)
Full Time Photography Career
Photography Portrait Techniques in Lighting and Composition
Photojournalism Basics Photography Ethics
Freelance Photography Life
Riding the Technology Wave in Photography
Tough Lessons of a Freelance Photographer
Because of my training on-the-job as a photojournalist, working for a weekly newspaper, and a stringer working for daily deadlines, I’ve learned how to get my work done right away. I don’t like things piling-up. When I shot for the weekly for 3 years part-time, I had to shoot my assignments in the 4 county area of Milwaukee..(I put enough miles on my Honda, without ever going beyond the area of my news coverage, to travel around the equator 1.5 times in a single year!)…shoot the assignment, get names of the people, and the info about the photos, rushed home, did what I could do for my freelance work, completed that, then processed my B&W film for the paper, printed, wrote my own slugs, drove to McDonald’s before hitting the office, picked up new assignments, shot them, maybe did something freelance along the way, or afterwards.. hit McDonald’s again, come home.. wash my cloths.. shopping.. etc…etc..etc.. and between Sunday and Tuesday, of every single week, I would often not get any sleep, other than 15 minute “power-naps” in my car.. or at my enlarger table.. I’d then wake up, and get rolling again… IF I was as lazy as some of these “Photographers” are today, who let their wedding albums, or photo packages pileup, and get backed-up… I’d be done! Finished… because my clients would contact the local TV station for them to investigate me, and why I am taking the client’s money, but not delivering their completed products.. There are many stories out there of photographers failing to deliver.. That’s a problem that I can learn from, easier than making that mistake.. I actually knew one of who was featured in one of those TV news investigations…who is a very talented guy…but very lazy, apparently… Rather than letting my work pile up like him, I like to get it done, so I can get referral advertising by happy clients, telling their friends, or new employers that I am great to work with, reliable, great results, quick turn-around, good communicator, etc..etc.. rather than watching people like my become an infamous local news celebrity!
You’re probably wondering what my social life is like..? …..no comment… !
……But, I am making my clients happy….. and completing small projects, like their company annual reports, weddings, staff portraits, video projects.. etc.. which in return, has kept me gainfully self-employed all these years… & now, I want to talk about my experiences, my lessons, things I’ve learned the hard way…since I’ve probably shortened my longevity by a good 20 or more years, thanks to all the stress, lack of sleep, & things that make me wish I had a Delorean, so I could go back in time, and make some vital changes, with my hindsight knowledge.. sigh..
So, if I can’t complete a book…because I am writing 9 or 10 at a time, I can at least type a blog, on a random topic.. That should be no problem. Besides, I have friend who wrote & published a book, that cost him a LOT of time… plus having it proofread, and then he had to find a publisher.. (I took the cover photo for his book).. all of which is not exactly inexpensive… He did eventually find a publisher.. They take a % of the sales that is pretty significant… and to date, he has sold fewer than the costs of writing & publishing it.. But at least he can say that he is a “published author”……(even though the project was an epic-failure).. 😉 So, that also dissuaded me from completing a book project too… I figure I can reach at least as many people as all my books together, on my own blog..
Lets see what happens.. ☺